Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Red velvet cupcakes

                                                                   Freshly out of the oven

                                                      After decorating with cream cheese

Wow, it has been a while since i baked
The last time i baked was for some chocolate chip cookies which i sell them for Hari Raya and it was a blast. Imagine I was 8 months' old pregnant and I stayed up all night until sahur to make those cookies to cater to the orders that i received. It was a testing time and it taught me to be humbled and thankful.

Then came December which marks my eldest daughter turning 2. Gosh has it been that long? I can remember the day i popped her out of my body. She was weird. The moment she came out she did not even cry. She just smiled until the nurse slapped her bottom then she wailed. It was a beautiful sight.

So as a token of appreciation i decided to make some Red Velvet cupcakes for the guests to take home and after numerous search for the recipes, i finally found one that suits my fancy, along with  the cream cheese topping. The history of Red Velvet is it was said to came from American South. According to joyofbaking.com,  

"It is really a Devil's Food Cake that has red food coloring added to it. John Mariani tells us in his book "The Dictionary of American Food and Drink" that the name 'Devil's Food Cake' is so called "because it is supposedly so rich and delicious that it must, to a moralist, be somewhat sinful."  and I couldn't agree more. It is rich, creamy and with the cream cheese topping 1 serving is not enough. I had 5 servings in one go  Hehe

Here is the recipe: 

1 1/4 cups (125 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
**1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream

To make it
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
4. In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
5. In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. 
6. Divide the batter evenly among the 12  muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 - 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
7. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting.

** As buttermilk can be costly, to substitute it add in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with one cup of milk and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

Have fun trying and advise me the outcome.

Grilled chicken mango salad with herbal rice

It has been a while

Writer was on maternity leave. Yup, just delivered a bouncy baby girl. Trying to get back in shape and regrow my herb garden which was destroyed and unattended during confinement. Well, i did asked my husband to tend to it but it proven to be such a chore for him. Ho hum.

                                                        We lit some candles, just for fun

Now, am embarking on a strict diet. No, not that atkinson kind. Just need to revise my whole menu and diet plan so that i can detox myself and give me more energy instead of feeling sluggish. Come January 2011 will be working at a gym and in this shape, I know i cant be physically active. So i got myself a new cookbook called Eat Well Stay Well and produced by Reader's Digest. My dad bought this book but i found it stored at the library unread. So i picked it up and found that most of the recipes are actually cookable (being a lazy cook, it helps)

There are more that 250 recipes inside and some nutritional guide as accordance with the type of the ingredients and bonus plus, it also provides information on the foods that fights illnesses.

To tell you the truth, not all 250 recipes can be catered to my culture especially those that involve the usage of wines. I cant honestly tell you whether wine is actually permissible in our cooking as being muslim we are prohibit to consume wine; although the alcohol in the wine will evaporate in high heat, but let us not touch that subject. If there are 10 recipes that contain wine, I can surely skip that and try the remaining 240 recipes, cant I? Let's be positive.

Today i cooked herbal rice or green rice. It is pretty easy to make. The  ingredients are:

3 teaspoon olive oil
4 spring onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup of rice
1/2 cup fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley (I add up 1/2 cup of fresh basil)
1 cup of fried anchovies

1. Heat the oil in medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add the spring onions and garlic, cook until soft
2. Add the rice, 2 1/4 water and a pinch of salt. Cook until the rice is tender. Once the rice is cooked, mix in the coriander and basil. As an alternative I put in some anchovies to give it that salty taste that my husband loves so much. Not to much salt though, else will defeat the whole purpose.

I paired the rice with grilled chicken with mango salad which i will share the recipe in the next post. Meanwhile, happy trying!

To get the book, you can click at the following link available below.